One Brief Encounter

copy-dance14.jpgHer pain, her shame and her own sense of worthlessness, and the memory of it all, was suddenly, once again, upon her.  For years she had masterfully crafted out a lie that she told herself, and others. She had believed her lie and lived by it her entire life, and now it was over. Running and hiding–pretending and denying reality–were about to become a thing of her past. In one brief encounter, with a man she had never met, she was completely and fully exposed. In the blink of an eye, she was never again to be the same.

Hold that thought! I want to show you something, but first, consider the following story from John 4:

7. A woman from Samaria came to get some water. Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”

8. His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.

9. The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew. I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” She said this because Jews don’t have anything to do with Samaritans.

10. Jesus answered her, “You do not know what God’s gift is. And you do not know who is asking you for a drink. If you did, you would have asked him. He would have given you living water.”

11. “Sir,” the woman said, “you don’t have anything to get water with. The well is deep. Where can you get this living water?”

12. “Our father Jacob gave us the well. He drank from it himself. So did his sons and his flocks and herds. Are you more important than he is?”

13. Jesus answered, “All who drink this water will be thirsty again.

14. But anyone who drinks the water I give him will never be thirsty. In fact, the water I give him will become a spring of water in him. It will flow up into eternal life.”

15. The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water. Then I will never be thirsty. And I won’t have to keep coming here to get water.”

16. He told her, “Go. Get your husband and come back.”

17. “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.

18. The fact is, you have had five husbands. And the man you have now is not your husband. What you have just said is very true.”

On what appears to be a chance encounter, this woman meets a man at a well who asks her for water. He seems to know her whole life’s story. With kindness and compassion he approaches her and draws her into conversation. A conversation which eventually addresses her deepest secrets and her inner most need. Certainly, she is aware of her own heart’s desires and longings. She must know where she lacks and hurts the most. But, how does he? In a simple statement Jesus reveals something she has been running from her whole life. He says, “Go. Get your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replies. Jesus says to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands. And the man you have now is not your husband. What you have just said is very true.” (verses 16-18)

Pay attention to what is being revealed here–five husbands and the one she is now with is not even her husband! This truth demands that we look beneath the surface. I cannot help but wonder about her and what is going on in her life. What is truly driving her along this destructive path? Did she struggle with her value and worth? Did she look to men to fill her need for love? Did she believe she was worthless with no real significance? What inner wounds and traumas drove her that demanded healing?

We can only imagine the answers to our questions, but the answers are not really the point. The conversation between this woman and Jesus is revealing and exposes things about us as much as it did this woman. We all have a story to tell, just like she did, we all have experiences in life that have wounded us in numerous ways. We might go looking for love in all the wrong places, we might find ways to numb our pain–we might turn to drugs, alcohol, food, sex, work or shop-till-we-drop, but the point is, we are searching for something to quench our inner thirst. This deep inner thirst must be quenched at all cost and sometimes the cost might be at a cost far greater than we are willing to pay.

In one brief encounter, in the blink of an eye, without judgment or condemnation, Jesus gets right to the heart of the matter. Gently, He guides her to see what she needs to see the most. Her deepest desire, her need, her thirst, was a spiritual need. It was about her inner, spiritual journey and not just about her external physical desires. Our tendency is to focus externally to find what satisfies. Jesus redirected her to look inside to find what truly satisfies.

What answer does Jesus offer her for all of her pain? We are given the answer to that question in John 4:10, when Jesus tells her He will give her “living water.” What He offers is none other than Himself. He recognizes her pain and all her longings and He points her to Himself. In essence, He is telling her that He is the One that satisfies; He is the One that loves her, He is the One that gives value and worth—He is the “living water!”

No doubt, our journey is physically here on this earth, and at some point in time, will involve healing from past and/or current wounds. BUT, the journey is still about our spiritual need first and foremost, as well as what satisfies and what does not. I do not dare make light of anyone’s emotional or physical pain–I’ve moved through my own, but I can say with certainty, our longings, our desires, our thirst, reveals something to us about our spiritual condition, and the answer is always the same.

Only One can truly satisfy and heal us where we are wounded most, only One can truly quench our inner thirst, only One can truly love us the way we desire to be loved, only One can give us value, worth and significance. Only He, Jesus, the “living water,” will quench our thirst!

God bless you and may you never thirst again!copy-dance14.jpg

Kiki

Contact: Kiki @ DancingWithGod@charter.net

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Love Is Golden

Barkley Christmas2009-8210

As we travel through life what an awesome privilege it is to be able to experience both receiving and giving love. It’s what we are meant for–receiving love–giving love. If we are fortunate Barkley enough, we learn to excel at both and one day discover our love relationships not only come through other people, but often times, from the most unexpected places–such as a love relationship with a loyal and faithful pet. Indeed, the greatest loves of our lives can come from these most unexpected places!

I found love from a most unexpected place through a Golden Retriever, named “Sam.” Sam entered my life during a particularly dark and difficult time, yet she was able to reach inside my inner world and connect with me like no other. She taught me things no person could teach me. She reached places no person could reach. It was as if she instinctively knew me and what I needed. Knowing Sam convinced me that God created dogs for a specific purpose and reason. God used Sam to open wide the chambers of my heart and allow my broken heart to begin healing and experiencing unconditional love.

Sound crazy? Probably not so much if you’ve known and experienced the healing love of a great dog. There is not quite anything like this magnificent and marvelous kind of love.

As you think about the healing I received through my dog, Sam, consider the attributes of God, and His nature that He sends us through the creation of His furry friends, and what He might be wanting to reveal to us through them:

  • Love
  • Grace
  • Mercy
  • Faithful
  • Friend
  • Forgiving
  • Trusting
  • Trust
  • Unconditional
  • Loyal
  • Devotion
  • Joy
  • Gentle
  • Patient
  • Kind

Can’t you see it… can’t you catch a glimpse of God’s nature and His love? I can!

Animals, along with all of creation, reveal something about the character, nature and attributes of God. I believe animals hold a special place within all of creation and that maybe, just maybe, we do not begin to fully know nor understand all that God has planned for us unless we include all of His creation!

Certainly, our animals can become a critical part of our stories as we journey towards healing and wholeness. They will teach us things about ourselves if we are willing to listen and learn. And yes, they teach us about God’s great love and passion for us. And yes, God can work through something as pure and simple as a dog. If we learn nothing else from our faithful and furry friends, we should learn to receive the kind of love, where nothing is expected in return–through them we can learn to soak in the fact that we are simply loved!

God bless you and may you see Him through all He has created–even through the unconditional and forgiving love of a dog!

Kiki

On Christmas Eve, December 24, 2012, my daughter, son-in-love, granddaughter and grandson unexpectedly and painfully had to say goodbye to their Golden Retriever, Barkley.

Barkley, sweet boy, this post, Love Is Golden, is in honor and memory of you. There are many things about you that I will remember, but mostly, it’s your kind and gentle spirit and your unconditional love that I will miss the most. You eagerly awaited to be loved by us, while you gently loved us, always figuring out how to get your head rubbed! You tried your best to convince us that you were trying to love on us, but, in reality you were getting your own love “fix!” 

Then, of course, there was your great love affair with food–especially chicken–lots and lots of chicken! You displayed great patience as you sat by our side and waited until you got your share of chicken. Turkey was a favorite, too! How I remember the time you waited so patiently, as you stole the Thanksgiving turkey right off the kitchen counter, claiming it as your very own!

It seems like yesterday you came to us, and in nine short years your time here is over. You leave us with many memories and thoughts to ponder as we lovingly grieve the loss of you. You became part of us–you will always be remembered–you will always be missed. You, Barkley, were a good boy, a faithful and loyal friend.

I will forever remember you and Sam as being best friends–tell Sam, I send my love!Sam & Barkley

BARKLEY

Your love was golden!

May 5, 2003 ~ December 24, 2012

SAMANTHA “SAM”

Your love was golden!

May 21, 1997 – November 29, 2007 

Sweet girl, everyday, I miss you!

20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Roman 1:20

FYI: Should you be interested in learning more about what God says about animals as part of His creation, and what we might expect at the loss of our most-loved and treasured four-legged friends, then I invite you to read more in Randy Alcorn’s book, “Heaven,”Chapters 39 & 40.

Contact: Kiki @ DancingWithGod@charter.net

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Shattered But Not Broken!

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall; all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again. 

I know you remember that old nursery rhyme! Who doesn’t, right? The way I see it, Humpty, who happened to be an egg, was minding his own business, enjoying life, when he fell off a wall. Having fallen, he was shattered into tiny pieces. In fact, he was so shattered, he seemed to be beyond repair.

That old riddle often came to mind during the times I felt the most shattered, the most broken and wounded. There was a point in my life when I could not imagine that my shattered pieces could ever be put together again. I could not see how something so shattered could ever achieve wholeness. Just as in the nursery rhyme, my thoughts were–if all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put the pieces together again, then who could? It appeared, that was the end of Humpty Dumpty. But, was it?

I would like to share with you the following excerpt, from The Life Model, Living From the Heart Jesus Gave You, by E. James Wilder, et al., Chapter 1, Pages 15-17, which outlines the journey or path towards wholeness, where our shattered pieces can be put back together again. The following speaks to what that journey might look like and how it can be achieved.

It has been said that God is not the great magician–He is the great physician. That saying addresses a question which people need to think about clearly. Whether fixes from God are always “quick.” People typically seek the quickest way out of pain, which is understandable. Pain, of course, demands immediate attention. A more mature approach, however, is to seek God’s redemption in the middle of the pain, asking Him to bring healing into our wounds–(which can be a much slower process). God does His work in us, pointing us toward wholeness, even while we are in pain. But it is not simply His work; it is our work too. It takes maturity and tenacity on our part to achieve wholeness, and that means persistently dealing with our pain.

There may be times when we are not in a place where we are free from pain, but we can still experience God’s amazing redemption. An often-quoted passage in II Corinthians 12 describes how the apostle Paul learned a key lesson. When he was struck with a tormenting problem which did not go away, even though he pleaded with the Lord three times, he got an answer he was not looking for: God works through weaknesses. What a profound discovery–he learned to delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, and in difficulties. The good news of the Gospel is that God wants to be with us in the middle of our struggles. That is precisely when He exercises His strength in us. Paul learned to let God be in charge, and to stop asking God to end his hardship. God’s strength flowed through Him because Paul stopped trying to be in control. He let God take over, and God was able to use him more effectively. Paul could delight in suffering because he found it was an opportunity for God’s strength to work through him.

Central to the Christian experience is an unchanging belief that God is at work in all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28), and that means all things. He is particularly at work when we are stuck in pain that seems to be endless and meaningless. The time-honored Christian approach to pain and wholeness involves our activity as well as God’s: His work in us is to bring redemption to all of the traumas that have broken us, and our work is to strive for maturity as we progress to wholeness.  The word “redemption” is sometimes difficult to understand, simply because it is used in so many contexts. Here is the way it is used in The Life Model: Redemption is God bringing good out of bad, leading us to wholeness, and the experience of God’s amazing power. Redemption means that out of our greatest pain, can come our most profound personal mission in life.

The biblical understanding of wholeness is succinctly described in the first chapter of James. We are instructed there to consider it pure joy whenever we are in the middle of suffering, because that will lead to wholeness. Suffering tests our faith and builds our endurance, so that we can be mature and complete–not divided, but whole. James cautions that we must ask God for wisdom during this stormy process. It takes total faith to believe that God will  bring us through the storm, or we will be unable to “receive anything” from God; without total faith in God we remain “double-minded”–divided (verse 8). Wholeness comes as we let Him lead us through the storms. We are to welcome suffering because it brings down the walls in our fragmented life so that we can become mature and complete (verse 4). It is God’s intent to bring redemption to the wounded and fragmented places in our lives so that our weaknesses can be transformed into strengths. That can happen when we honestly address our pain. Suffering can lead to wholeness if we embrace it. It will take endurance and time, but the benefits are well worth it.

I look back in time and so clearly see what was not obvious to me then. I see God’s hand–His heart–in every tiny part of my journey. Although, I discovered there are no quick fixes from the things in life that create pain, there is a path to wholeness. It is not achieved quickly–it takes both time and endurance.

Yes, life’s circumstances do have a way of leaving us feeling shattered into a million pieces, and, while it might feel true, reality is, we are not broken beyond repair–the shattered pieces can be put back together again.

Although, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty’s shattered pieces together again, as I’ve discovered, and you can too, there is someone who can.

I promise you the journey is worth it!humpty-dumpty

Kiki

61 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me (Jesus) to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound. Isaiah 61:1

From there he went all over Galilee. He used synagogues for meeting places and taught people the truth of God. God’s kingdom was his theme–that beginning right now they were under God’s government, a good government! He also healed people of their diseases and of the bad effects of their bad lives. Word got around the entire Roman province of Syria. People brought anybody with an ailment, whether mental, emotional, or physical. Jesus healed them, one and all. More and more people came, the momentum gathering. Besides those from Galilee, crowds came from the “Ten Towns” across the lake, others up from Jerusalem and Judea, still others from across the Jordan. Matthew 4:23-25

28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28

Related Posts:

Learning To Dance

Lies, Deception And Other Tangled Webs

Up Close And Personal

Contact: Kiki @ DancingWithGod@charter.net

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Learning to Dance

Dancing Ballerina

Much of my life I spent running from God and hiding from Him all because I feared Him. I feared Him because I did not know Him. It has taken me a lifetime to discover God for who He truly is and learn that He is not the God that I thought I knew based on my own preconceived and faulty notions.

Eventually, life’s circumstances gave me two choices as far as I could tell, and they were: One, stop running from God. Second, if not, then surely I would die! I chose to stop running and do the work laid out before me. I am here to say, it has not been an easy path, but it has been worth it. Worth it because I have uncovered the most incredible truths about God and in the process discovered the truth about myself.

God, as I now know Him, is a God of grace, mercy and unconditional love. I desired unconditional love and a relationship where I was known for who I truly am in spite of all my faults and shortcomings. I hungered and longed for a relationship where I could be real and authentic, removing all of my masks or false-faces. I just wanted to be deeply known and loved passionately. No matter what I did or didn’t do something always remained missing and hurting deep inside of me. There was a void that was constantly longing and needing to be filled within me, yet, I did not know what the need was or how to “fix” it.

My experiences in life have taken me down many paths and while I have had great joy I have also known great sorrow. During the times of great sorrow, I learned more about myself, God and others than I ever thought possible. It was during the times of great sorrow that I came face to face with God, as revealed to us in the person of Jesus, and as I let go of my fears and moved closer towards Him, I entered into the most precious relationship. I discovered a passionate God and found His passion was for me, and for you. He will pursue us without ceasing in a desire to capture our wounded and broken hearts. He will restore us and transform us so that we can receive His love, learn to love and care about ourselves, and in turn reach out and love others.

Dancing Ballerina Feet

I’ve discovered He pours out His gift of grace to each and every one of us. We did nothing to earn His grace. As a matter of fact, there is nothing we can do to earn it. No act on our part, no amount of performance, no works or good deeds can earn this incredible, and often times hard-to-understand and misrepresented, grace.

Typically, humans teach “religion”–a type of living whereby human beings try to make themselves acceptable to God through their own actions or works–God reveals something totally different and more beautiful than the human mind can imagine. Through the Person of Jesus Christ, who reveals to us the Father, we discover God’s grace, His love and His passion for us. As we discover the truth–the Person of Jesus–we begin to enter into an intimate and authentic relationship with Him. We come to know that love, grace, mercy and truth is a Person and His name is Jesus. By intimately knowing Him, as He intended, we begin to gain freedom from the lies we believe about ourselves, others and God.

We all have a story to share and this is mine. I invite you to step into my story and journey with me towards this passionate and unconditional God who loves you–and me–passionately!Dancing Ballerina

Come along with me and learn to dance!

Kiki

39 “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! John 5:9

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. John 14:6

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Ephesians 2:8 NLT

Contact: Kiki @ DancingWithGod@charter.net

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Up Close And Personal

Heart MendingIt can’t be argued, it can’t be debated, it’s a truth we can’t deny. We are relational beings and we are designed–created and wired–for relationship and community with God and others.

Starting at birth, every aspect of life involves relationship, beginning with the family we are born into (family of origin) which includes a community of extended family and friends.

Relationship seems like a simple fact of life, but is it? It seems to me, it is not! In reality, relationships can be all too complicated. The truth is, many of us have broken relationships and we have absolutely no idea how to mend or repair them. Some of us even have a few we wish we could escape from!

We live in a fallen and broken world–we humans are imperfect in an imperfect world–and one of the results of that brokenness–imperfection–is that our own human heart can be wounded in the process. Once wounded, without healing, we can live out of the hurt or pain from these past wounds (damage, injury, distress, grief, anguish or torment). Once this occurs, we can react towards others from this place of pain. This is not to say that others do not do or say things that hurt us and create pain, but rather, we are responsible for what goes on within us internally and how we react. We learn to ask questions of ourselves such as: Why do I react to others as I do; and, what are my triggers? Being focused externally–looking at others as our problem–will only lead to a victim mentality of self-justification and blaming of others instead of taking responsibility for our own pain.

For healthy relationships we must begin to heal and grieve our past wounds and/or trauma(s). This requires a loving and supportive community of people who have traveled this path before us. Too often, the heart God places within each of us is covered up and it hides beneath our pain. When this happens we live from a false-self. We are intended to live from the heart Jesus gave us and not the one buried beneath our pain. We are meant to move towards a path of wholeness and emotional maturity. Because we humans are relational beings we do not thrive well in life without strong-loving bonds where we are in community with others. It takes both family and community for us to live from our full potential the way God intended. See The Life Model, Chapter 1, Page 11-13, by E. James Wilder, PhD., et al.

In my personal journey towards wholeness, I am eternally grateful to those that traveled before me–your love and support mean more to me than you will ever know–and, I suspect you know who you are! Thank you for selflessly sharing your own journey, your pain and struggles, allowing me, and those like me, to receive healing and restoration–wholeness. As a result, it is possible to be up close and personal in relationship with God and others as He intended all along.

Heart Mending

May God richly bless you and may you delight in the love and passion He has for you!

Kiki

FYI: For an in depth understanding of healing from past wounds and/or traumas, achieving wholeness, maturity and life-giving community, see The Life Model, by E. James Wilder, PhD., et al.

Lies, Deception And Other Tangled Webs

Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. Romans 8:28

If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, 7 even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:6-10

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. James 1:2-8

12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created. James 1:16-18

Contact: Kiki @ DancingWithGod@charter.net

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He Loves Me, He Loves Me Lots!

Daisies & Lady Bug

Come on! I know you remember the game–all we girls played it–He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not! Most of us will remember playing this little game as young children. I bet even some of you guys played it. We tried to decide if the love of our life–the object of our forever affection–was going to return our love. He or she was the boy or girl of our dreams, and we would surely die if he or she did not return our love!

How sweet and innocent those long ago days of childhood where something as simple as a flower, and a song, could speak to our hearts about love, and all that was sure to follow.

Although many years have come and gone, there is one thing I am certain of–it is not by accident this deeply imbedded longing and desire that pulls at our hearts. We crave to love and be loved–we crave acceptance and approval–we crave true intimacy where we are known for who we truly are, yet loved all the same. Oh, how we long for our heart’s desires to be fulfilled giving us what we so desperately want and need!

As I look back, I find a striking parallel with those days of long ago where I pulled petals from flowers, to see if I was truly loved–or not, and how I interacted in my relationship with God and others. In my efforts, to love and be loved, I became performance-based. I tried to be everything for everyone. My personality changed to fit the situation, or to suit others, and what I thought they needed from me. A deeper fear drove me–if someone truly knew me they would not love me. This spilled over into all of my relationships, where I lived life on an emotional roller coaster, as I worked night and day to earn love and acceptance.

While God placed within the heart of every human being the need and desire to love and be loved, it was never His intent for us to earn love. Thinking we must earn love is a burden we humans place upon ourselves and each other. We see this in every aspect of our lives, and we easily fall prey to a system of beliefs and teachings that reinforce our need to earn love, acceptance and approval. Ultimately, our longing for love should move us towards God where we find He and He alone can fully meet all of our needs.

If you, like me, struggle with performance–earning love and acceptance from God and others–challenge your beliefs and why you believe the way you do. A life of performance is impossible to live out, and it is exhausting. Search out truth, turn to God’s word (Bible) for what He says is true about you, and your relationship with Him and others. Our God is a God of grace, love and mercy, and if you seek Him you will find Him, and He will be found faithful as He reveals His truth, and His love for you!

When you find yourself pulling petals off daisies–performing to earn love and acceptance–like me, you too will be able to turn to the true object of your affection, and say with confidence–He loves me, He loves me lots!

Daisies & Lady Bug

God bless you & remember, He loves you, He loves you lots!

Kiki

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 ~ 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 ~ 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17

14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,[a] 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.[b] 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Ephesians 3:14-19

8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:8-10

13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32

Lies, Deception And Other Tangled Webs

Sozo

Love Letter

In Christ

Favorite Books

Contact: Kiki @ DancingWithGod@charter.net

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Lies, Deception And Other Tangled Webs

From time to time, there is an old saying from childhood that bounces around in my head, “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” It just pops in on its own and goes round n’ round in my head. As a child, I did not understand or appreciate that little saying, but after many years of pondering the subject of lies and deception, I have determined that what we take in as truth is critical to how we live out our life. It is possible to believe something is truth when in fact we have been deceived into believing lies.

 I like the way David Takle, author of The Truth About Lies And Lies About Truth, addresses the topic about what we believe and the art of deception. He uses the illustration of C. S. Lewis’ book, Screwtape Letters, saying it gives us a vivid picture of how pervasive the problem of deception really is in our lives. A demon apprentice by the name of Wormwood, is being trained by his demon uncle, Screwtape, in the art of deception and temptation. Following Wormwood’s education, we observe a very narrow set of methods that are repeated over and over to the person being targeted: distract, distort, confuse, and misrepresent all elements of reality!

We can all relate to the manipulative & deceptive methods presented by the demons, Wormwood & Screwtape, who keep people off balance through confusing and distorting reality! The methods of deception are powerful and destructive tools that affect every aspect of life for those targeted.

Deception is a subject that is repeatedly revealed throughout the Bible as the weapon of choice which is meant to destroy us. It is so powerful it can render our lives completely broken and ineffective. That said, it stands to reason that what we believe matters more than we can imagine, and it is truly the life force that drives us.

There is a relationship between what we believe and emotional pain. Think about that statement for a moment and let it sink in–there is a direct relationship between what we believe and emotional pain! If emotional pain is present, that is unresolved and/or trauma related, there is a lie(s)–deception–that we are believing, a lie that we have taken in as truth! What we believe constantly operates in the background driving us in some fashion, shape or form.

If the above is true, then we have to ask the questions: What lies are we believing; and, in what way have we been deceived; and, how in the world did those lies take root in a way that created emotional pain and trauma? Tackling the subject of truth and challenging our beliefs, especially discovering the lies we believe, becomes an important task if we desire to live life in intimate and authentic relationship with God and others.

Unresolved emotional pain and/or trauma control how we live out life and how we do relationship. Pain memories become constant triggers creating havoc and chaos in our life and the life of those we love. If we desire intimate and authentic relationships then the unresolved emotional pain that drives us must be resolved. Healthy relationship can only thrive in an atmosphere of trust and truth! Therefore, it is worth repeating, there is a direct relationship to what we believe and emotional pain. 

This is not a simple subject and cannot be fully explored in a post about truth and deception. It takes a lifetime of input coming from many different directions, and experiences that form our beliefs about our identity, God’s character and our relationships. Truth is vital to restoration and healing of the broken places and it is critical for growth and change.

There is freedom in the truth and it is life-giving while the lies we believe–deception–bring about bondage and death.Snake In The Apple Tree

God bless and may you live “tangle” free!

Kiki

FYI: For an in-depth look on the topic of the lies we believe and the art of deception see The Truth About Lies And Lies About Truth by David Takle.

Contact: Kiki @ DancingWithGod@charter.net

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Sozo Love

Sozo  Logo

Call me crazy, but I’m excited over my recent discovery of the Greek meaning for our English word save, saved or salvation–sozo. In the Greek sozo is rich with meaning and has completely changed the way I view Biblical references to what we refer to as being saved.

Sozo in the Greek has 3 distinct parts which mean salvation, healing and deliverance, to make well, to make whole and complete.

A form of the word salvation–sozo–appears over and over again in the Bible to describe the work of Jesus and what He came to earth to accomplish.

There is so much more going on here than initially meets the eye! 

We are made up of 3 parts: We are spirit, body and soul with the soul being the mind, will & emotions.

Sozo Chart

Sometimes our tendency is to think in terms of only one part of the whole–we focus on our salvation as how to avoid hell. Yet, the full meaning of the word, salvation, is so much richer and deeper than we can begin to image. It is true, Jesus came to save (sozo) us from eternal separation from God; therefore, we are reconciled (reunited, bringing back together again) to God to spend all eternity with Him–we are spiritually awakened saving us from spiritual death. Yet, something else marvelous is happening at the same time. Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross was meant to bring restoration (repairing, mending, rebuilding) to the whole person. He wants to heal and restore the whole of who He created us to be–not just in part, but in whole–that means wholeness and completeness of spirit, body and soul. This is good news indeed!

With that said, I am not implying that all healing of body and soul will take place on this earth. I’m simply saying, it is His desire that we are whole and complete in the here and now. I will say, I firmly believe our starting point is always with our spiritual condition where we move from being spiritually dead to God, to being spiritually alive to God, and we move from that point forward. We are spirit beings, and we need spiritual resolution between us and God before His healing and wholeness can take place in us as He intended.

I seriously doubt, I am the only battle worn person in the universe that has struggled with issues of the soul–my mind, will and emotions. I have battled pain memories and traumas that have held me in bondage keeping me from living out the life I was meant to live. Unresolved pain and/or trauma can control how we live out life, and how we do relationships. These pain memories can be constant triggers creating havoc and chaos in our life, and the life of those we love. Am I the only one, or are there others who know exactly what I am talking about?

I don’t know about you, but, I think it’s a game changer when we fully comprehend and realize how Jesus in His love and compassion for us–not only spiritually wants to give us life–He also desires for us to be completely whole in the here and now. Better yet, He provided a way for wholeness to become our new reality. We have not been left alone and helpless–He is present with us–He is Immanuel, God With Us!

Sounds good, sounds promising and sounds filled with hope, but how do we get to that place? Glad you asked–we will start talking about that in future post!

God bless you and may you know His “sozo” love!

Kiki

21 She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus [the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua, which means Savior], for He will save His people from their sins [that is, prevent them from [a]failing and missing the true end and scope of life, which is God]. Matthew 1:21 Amplified Bible

Biblegateway.com – A word search of the words save, saved and salvation found 387 scripture references.

Contact: Kiki @ DancingWithGod@charter.net

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Forever Changed ~ Part II

Heart of Butterflies In my last post, I shared with you that in January 1996 my son, Alan, died. In the blink of an eye my life forever changed and it would never again be the same. No one has influenced my life in a way that promoted growth and change in me as much as my son. Today, August 16th, would be his 41st birthday and naturally my thoughts turn toward him. The following letter was written in memory and honor of Alan.

My Son,

I find myself thinking of you often. I miss your presence in my life and your big hugs. I miss your love and your laughter. I miss the sound of your voice as you would say, “I love you, Mom,” and I miss seeing your foot prints in the carpet. Oh, Alan, how I long to see your face!

In life you gave me much joy and in your death I have known great sorrow. In the first moments after you died I fully understood how utterly helpless and powerless I truly am. I had a gut-wrenching pain and sorrow like no other. In an instant my world stopped and I thought I would die.

Within hours of your death I find myself alone, I walk into my closet, I collapse on the floor, I curl up in a fetal position, and I scream, and I scream. I find myself screaming out to God, this God I have believed in and trusted my entire life. Yet, for the first time, I felt tested in ways unlike any I had known. Everything was spinning out of control and I felt shaken to my core.

I began to give God everything, I gave Him all of me and I gave Him all of you. I begged Him to do for me what I knew I could not do for myself. I had no idea how I was going to get up off the floor much less how I was going to live out the rest of life. How was I to live each second, minute, hour, days, weeks, months and years that were to follow?

At the time, I did not understand what I was asking God, or even what I was screaming about–I only knew I did not know how to survive and God had to do it for me. I began letting go of my need for control and trusted God and Him alone.

Son, because of you I am facing my fears. I am learning fear is the opposite of love–we live from fear or we live from love. I can now see others with love and not fear or judgment.

I have shed one false-self after the other removing my masks and false-faces. I no longer have walls around me locking God and others out. I now know incredible joy and I enjoy my relationships with others to the fullest.

I am learning how to receive what is truth and discard those things that are lies. I stay in the present and do not mentally and emotionally come and go when things get too hard to bear. I fully experience life where before I only survived.

In the years since you have been gone, I have discovered and learned to receive God’s incredible unconditional love, and I know my value and worth as someone chosen by Him. I am able to receive His grace and tender mercy, and enjoy intimate, authentic relationship with Him and others.

Because of you, son, I have allowed God to bring healing and restoration to my wounded and broken heart. He has filled my heart with praise, turned my ashes into beauty, and my mourning into joy.

           Alan, my son, to you I am eternally grateful for through you came my greatest gifts.

On our journey through life many will enter into our journey with us becoming apart of our story. Some will come and stay–some will come and go–and some will impact our lives in such a way we are forever changed.

God Bless!

Kiki

P.S. It is my heart’s desire that in sharing my story others will see whether it is spiritual, physical or emotional, at some place in time, we all need healing and restoration. My prayer is it will point all toward Jesus, the Healer and Restorer, of our spirit, body & soul. We do not live as those without hope. We have a hope and we have a future. Jeremiah 29:11Heart of Butterflies

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The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God anointed me.
He sent me to preach good news to the poor,
heal the heartbroken,
Announce freedom to all captives,
pardon all prisoners.
God sent me to announce the year of his grace—
a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies—
and to comfort all who mourn,
To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,
give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,
Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.
Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness”
planted by God to display his glory. Isaiah 61 The Message

Contact: Kiki @ DancingWithGod@charter.net

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Forever Changed ~ Part I

Heart of Butterflies Many people constantly move in and out of our lives. Its been said that some come and stay for an entire lifetime while others come for just a season. Some will have a life changing impact on our lives while others might leave little or no impression whatsoever. I believe that all who enter into our lives are there for a purpose. Maybe that purpose becomes known to us in time and maybe it doesn’t. Regardless, I believe that somehow, some way, other people have an impact on our lives just as we will impact theirs.

This impact we have on others raises some questions: What kind of impact or influence will we have on each other? Do our relationships create growth in us or do they create negative results? Do our relationships affect what needs worked out in us, or do our relationships leave us angry, bitter, full of hatred and revenge?

In my life, I have seen many people along the way motivate change in me that has completely changed the path or direction my life was taking. I look back and know for a fact had certain people not been part of my journey I would not have arrived at this place in time being the person I am today. I am thankful for all of these that have come across my path. But, no one has influenced my life in a way that promoted growth and change in me as much as my son.

To those of you who are parents, if you are anything like me, somewhere deep inside when you ponder your greatest fears your mind will turn to your children. Just the thought of something happening to them, the thought of potential harm of any type, can leave all of us paralyzed, shaken and very afraid. For many reasons, that was a fear alive within me, and for as long as I can remember it had always been there. Then one winter day, in January 1996, my worst fear became my new reality. My son, Alan, died and in the blink of an eye my life forever changed and it would never again be the same.

How in the world is a parent supposed to bury their child? How do we get up the next day and finish living our life? How do we put the shattered pieces back together? How do we take another breath of air since it hurts to breathe in and breathe out? How do we live with intense pain that is not only mental and emotional it is also physical? How are we to survive without our child? How do we survive for our other children? How do we keep from literally going insane?

Since Alan’s death I have spent many years pondering these questions and more. There is a path out, and although it is not an easy path, the journey is worth it.

In life we are guaranteed to have many trials. These trials can change life and how we do life and nothing will ever again be the same. They can cause us to turn bitter and angry for the rest of our lives. They can cause us to flee from the God we thought we believed in. Or, they can cause us to fall on our face at the feet of Jesus. We humans usually do one or the other–we flee–or, we fall on our face before our God. And me, well, I fell on my face before God.

In my next post, Forever Changed Part II, I would like to share a letter I wrote to my son, Alan. This letter speaks to ways that I am forever changed for having known him and loved him.

Heart of Butterflies

God Bless!

Kiki

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Philippians 4:6-7 The Message

We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! 1 Corinthians 13:12 The Message

No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 The Message

Contact: Kiki @ DancingWithGod@charter.net

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